CYCLING: Pilgrim makes progress to post fastest time in Witham Wheelers 10

Dave Strickson was the fastest Witham Wheeler in Sherwood CC's 10 on Saturday. Photo: Alan East
Dave Strickson was the fastest Witham Wheeler in Sherwood CC's 10 on Saturday. Photo: Alan East
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Round 11 of the Witham Wheelers 10-mile time trial league again saw heavy rain during the day mostly clear away to leave calm but damp roads for the 23 riders.

Fastest on the evening by almost 90 seconds was John Pilgrim in 22min 52sec, with Stephen Hobday improving to second with 24.13 and Simon Cocker (24.49) third.

First lady was Louise George in 27.45 from Tracey George 29.22 and Julie Clark 30.14, with Josh Kettle best youngster in 31.58

On handicap, Nev Chamberlain led the way with a 33 seconds improvement thanks to the addition of some tri-bars for the first time.

The veterans changed places this week as Michael Smalley abandoned his TT bike due to the damp conditions, allowing Simon Cocker +2.31 to just get the better of Stephen Hobday + 2.23.

After the race, the club held its annual barbecue, the proceeds of which were donated to its nominated charity Cystic Fibrosis.

Results: 1 John Pilgrim 22:52, 2 Stephen Hobday 24:13 PB, 3 Simon Cocker 24:49, 4 Matthew Kingston-Lee 24:57, 5 Tony Hardenberg 26:39, 6 Nev Chamberlain 26:40 PB, 7 Gavin Kettle 27:42, 8 Louise George 27:45, 9 Bill Harrison 28:16 PB, 10 Wayne Searle 28:21, 11 Mick Smith 28:23 PB, 12 Phil Smith 28:37, 13 Kevin Rice 29:09, 14 Guy Haws 29:19, 15 Tracey George 29:22, 16 Michael Smalley 29:51, 17 Julie Clark 30:14, 18 Barry Gell 30:44, 19 John Scott 31:54, 20 Joshua Kettle 31:58 PB, 21 Evangeline Searle 34:56 PB, 22 Brian Firbank 40:09, 23 Dave Herd DNF, 24 Chris Masters DNS.

On Tuesday it is the 18-mile circuit TT. Register to ride at Grantham Cricket Club on Gorse Lane. First rider starts at 6.45pm as usual. All welcome.

l Rapid times in the Saturday afternoon Sherwood CC 10-mile TT at Long Bennington saw Dave Strickson fastest club rider in 22.54 for 52nd overall, which gives some idea of how the standard of the sport has moved on is recent years. Anthony Hardenberg recorded 23:32 and Martin Lister finished in 23:46. Race winner was Matt Sinclair (Lutterworth Cycle Centre) with an astounding 18:58!

l On the road racing scene, Peter Cocker (Giant Rutland Wattbike) had his best result of the year in the 75-mile Flamme Rouge Kermesse held on a short 2.5-mile circuit at Cranfield, near Bedford.

A national B event for Elite/1/2/3 riders, a good quality 70-rider field stayed largely together despite the high pace until, with five laps remaining, Peter crossed the small gap to the two leaders with Ollie Maxwell (Richardsons Trek).

Working hard to extend the lead, they dropped the other two riders and, despite the efforts of several strong teams chasing, at the finish their lead was pushed out to almost 50 seconds, where Ollie was just too quick in the sprint, with Peter taking an excellent second place.

This result gave Peter enough points in the British Cycling ranking system to confirm his first category licence for the 2018 season.

Closer to home, Witham Wheelers had two riders in the 2/3 category 60-mile Bourne Wheelers East Midlands Road Race League event at Witham on the Hill.

In hot conditions on a rolling course with a strong local field, this was always going to be a tough event.

A break of seven riders went clear around half distance and, although the gap didn’t go above 1min 40sec, the bunch never looked like closing it down.

Martin Ludlam was the best club finisher, just getting into the top 20 overall, while junior Adam Egner was distanced from the bunch with a lap to go. Robert McAndrew, now racing for the MI Racing team, also finished in the bunch.